With the release of their self-titled new album, Paramore, Hayley Williams and the boys have once again staked the claim that no one does hard-driving, radio friendly rock music as well as they do. The last few years have been heavy on electronic pop/dance music or retro fueled R+B/Soul but there has been a dearth of rough, up-tempo, guitar based rock music. This month there has been a bit of a mid-‘00s rock revival with new albums from both Paramore and Fall Out Boy. I am an unashamed cheesy pop music fan but I like to be reminded that there is music out there that is more substantial but just as much fun to listen to. I have said this before, but Paramore is my favorite rock band and I am really happy with this new album.
There is a good balance between the more melodic side and the more pop/punk side of Paramore on this album. The best tracks on the album reflect that with the aggressive “Now” and “Fast in My Car” starting you off with a bang. As you continue on you find the swinging, jazzy “Ain’t it Fun” which is as carefree a song as I can ever remember Paramore doing. With “Last Hope” they show that they haven’t lost their touch on more emotionally resonant ballads. As the band has grown up, their sound and sensibilities have grown up with them.
There are a few throwaway songs on this album, but with 14 new songs, you get so much bang for your buck with Paramore that the less memorable songs are quickly forgiven and forgotten. “Proof” and “Hate to See Your Heart Break” fall a little flat, but they are the only songs I would skip if this album came up in the rotation on my IPod. Paramore, in my opinion, is a creative success that I can only hope will also be a commercial success. A